Monday, July 19, 2010

NYT Tuesday 7/20/10 Ed Sessa - Billy Club

This Tuesday New York Times crossword had one of those themes I wasn't fated to understand until the very end. This seems almost inevitable with "words of a kind" ideas where the relationship is indirect and only affects one half of the theme answers.

When the key answer is at the bottom right, it seems inevitable that you'll work through almost all such a straightforward puzzle before bumping up against the explanation for it all. I wonder if the constructor thought about putting Billy right in the center, where there is a handy 5-letter entry available? This is meant more as an observation than a criticism, as it doesn't have a huge impact on the solving experience.

Progress was generally very smooth today, with no doubts over any answers at the end. My first guess for {"All ___ is metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry": G. K. Chesterton} at 43-Across was prose and that did inconvenience me for a while. I can't remember any other missteps though.

Crystal PalaceI got lucky with local knowledge when it came to Crystal Palace at 48-Across: the original building used for the Great Exhibition was destroyed by fire in 1936, but its name is still used to denote the area of south London in which it stood for so many years.

I liked the misdirection in 54-Across {Cap-and-crown org.?}, which definitely steered me away from dentistry, but to what? "Cap-and-crown" seems like it might mean something in a different context, but I can't find it in dictionaries. Google suggests it may have to do with soda machines and/or chimney construction.
Solving time: 7 mins (solo, no solving aids)
Clue of the puzz: 54a ADA {Cap-and-crown org.?}
Solution

Ed Sessa
Grid art by Sympathy [about the grid colors]

Theme

Phrases starting with surnames of people with the forename 68a Billy {Name associated with the starts of 17-, 27-, 48- and 64-Across}.
17a ocean bottom {Davy Jones's locker} => Billy Ocean
27a graham cracker {S'more ingredient} => Billy Graham
48a Crystal Palace {Site of London's Great Exhibition of 1851} => Billy Crystal
64a idol worship {Veneration of a cult image} => Billy Idol
Crucimetrics [about Crucimetrics]
CompilersEd Sessa / Will Shortz
Grid15x15 with 36 (16.0%) black squares
Answers78 (average length 4.85)
Theme squares53 (28.0%)
Scrabble points294 (average 1.56)
Letters usedABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Video of the Day



22d opera {Setting for a Marx Brothers farce}. I can't pass up another opportunity to feature one of my favorite comedy teams and one of their greatest movies A Night at the Opera (1935). It starred Groucho Marx, Chico Marx and Harpo Marx, and featured Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones, Margaret Dumont, Siegfried Rumann, and Walter Woolf King. It was the first film the Marx Brothers made for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer after their departure from Paramount Pictures, and the first without Zeppo. The film was adapted by George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, Al Boasberg (uncredited), and Buster Keaton (uncredited) from a story by James Kevin McGuinness. It was directed by Sam Wood. In 1993, A Night at the Opera was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". It is also included in the 2007 update of AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies, at number 85. As the title suggests, much of the action revolves around an opera house, specifically its disastrous opening night performance of Verdi's Il Trovatore.

The Doctor is IN

15a roars {Dins from dens}. "dens" as in animal lairs or man caves - I think the clue works either way!

43a slang {"All ___ is metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry": G. K. Chesterton}. A quote from G. K. Chesterton's 1901 essay The Defendant, being a defense of slang.

54a ADA {Cap-and-crown org.?}. ADA = American Dental Association, installers of caps and crowns.

18d Batman {Dynamic Duo member}. The Dynamic Duo = the partnership between Batman and Robin.

35d BMOC {Coll. football star, e.g.}. BMOC = "big man on campus".

51d Lassie {Old TV canine}. Lassie is a Cruciverbal Canine.

65d RBs {N.F.L. ball carriers}. RB = running back.

Image of the Day

loess

56a loess {Rich soil deposit}. Loess is an aeolian sediment formed by the accumulation of wind-blown silt and lesser and variable amounts of sand and clay that are loosely cemented by calcium carbonate. It is usually homogeneous and highly porous and is traversed by vertical capillaries that permit the sediment to fracture and form vertical bluffs. The word loess, with connotations of origin by wind-deposited accumulation, is of German origin and means “loose.” It was first applied to Rhine River valley loess about 1821.

Other Clues

1a smoky {Like the air in a cigar bar}; 6a piled {In heaps}; 11a cab {Medallioned vehicle}; 14a ladle {Soup server's implement}; 16a ire {Ill temper}; 19a NBA {Hoops org.}; 20a pest {Irksome type}; 21a await {Look forward to}; 22a odor {Foot problem, perhaps}; 23a cot {Motel extra}; 25a nippers {Playful puppies, at times}; 32a pat {Frisk, with "down"}; 33a Tara {"Gone With the Wind" plantation}; 34a grebe {Loonlike bird}; 37a auto {VW or BMW}; 39a no ice {"Hold the rocks," at a bar}; 42a alma {___ mater}; 45a salt {Shaker contents}; 47a Los {Pop music's ___ Lobos}; 52a icky-poo {Yucky, in baby talk}; 54a ADA {Cap-and-crown org.?}; 55a tide {Shore washer}; 59a sews {Repairs some tears}; 63a ado {Big fuss}; 66a leg {Turkey piece}; 67a Della {___ Street, Perry Mason's secretary}; 69a ORs {Sterile hosp. areas}; 70a Arden {"As You Like It" forest}; 71a seeds {Food for birds}.

1d slop {Barely edible fare}; 2d mace {Knight's club}; 3d odes {Keatsian works}; 4d klatch {Coffee ___ (social gathering)}; 5d yen {Cash in Kyoto}; 6d prow {Ship's front}; 7d iota {Least bit}; 8d Latina {Monterrey miss, e.g.}; 9d erotic {Rated X}; 10d DSM {Mil. award}; 11d Cinderella {Rags-to-riches heroine}; 12d arbor {Shady area}; 13d bears {Grizzlies, e.g.}; 24d oat {Cheerios grain}; 26d pkg. {UPS delivery: Abbr.}; 27d GPAs {Transcript nos.}; 28d Raul {Brother of Fidel}; 29d attack dogs {Responders to "Sic 'em!"}; 30d Cro {___-Magnon}; 31d Raisa {Mrs. Gorbachev}; 36d ease {Life of Riley}; 38d on rye {One way to eat ham}; 40d cal {Low-___ (for dieters)}; 41d El Paso {City across the Rio Grande from Ciudad Juárez}; 44d gyp {Cheat, in 43-Across}; 46d tad {Little bit}; 49d solder {Electrician's alloy}; 50d too old {Ineligible for kiddie prices, say}; 52d Italo {Author Calvino}; 53d cider {Fall drink}; 57d Elle {Magazine title that's a pronoun}; 58d swan {Trumpeting bird}; 60d Ehle {"Pride and Prejudice" actress Jennifer}; 61d wild {Like jokers, sometimes}; 62d S.P.Y.S {1974 Gould/Sutherland spoof}; 64d Ida {Mrs. McKinley}.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

ADA=American Dental Association. Check out the back of your toothpaste tube!

Crossword Man said...

A catchy suggestion ... thanks Anon!